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Vista volleyball team splits six matches at own tournament

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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Vista del Lago’s varsity girls’ volleyball team is 8-0 and leading the Sierra Valley Conference, but has struggled outside of league, posting a 7-9 record. The Eagles earned league wins over Union Mine and Cosumnes Oaks last week before playing in the NorCal Classic, a tournament they hosted featuring several strong teams from the Sacramento area and beyond. The Eagles featured mixed results at the biggest tournament they’ve ever hosted; winning three matches and losing three. No win was more impressive than the team’s opening win of the tournament over Granite Bay, 25-19, 13-25, 15-12, who went on to finish in second place. Vista followed with a 25-19, 23-25, 15-8 victory over Foothill before losing three straight matches to Menlo-Atherton (25-23, 25-17), Northgate (25-22, 16-25, 9-15) and Sacred Heart Cathedral (13-25, 25-21, 8-15). Vista finished the day with a 25-11, 25-21 win over Foothill and ended up in seventh place. “We had a big win against Granite Bay and that was a huge step in the right direction,” Vista coach Patrick Sanders said. “They are a great program and well coached. While the rest of the day was filled with ups and downs, we played well at times against some great competition. We lost a few close ones that would have been nice to win, but overall I was pleased with our team’s performance. Hopefully, we’ll be able to reach that high level of play on a more consistent basis going forward.” Albany High School ended up winning the tournament, beating Granite Bay in two straight games. Christian Brothers placed third with a two-game sweep over Northgate. Sacred Heart and Menlo-Atherton also finished in front of the Eagles. Prior to Thursday’s three-game sweep of Cosumnes Oaks, the Eagles defeated their biggest league rival, Union Mine, 25-21, 25-16, 25-9 on Oct. 9. The Lady Eagles looked sharp against the defending Division IV state champions as they improved with each set, holding the Lady Diamondbacks to fewer and fewer points as the match went on. “Volleyball is a game of momentum and hopefully that momentum is more on your side than their side,” said Sanders. “We still have stuff to work on. Union Mine is a good program. They’re the defending state champs and any time you can get a win against them, it’s a good thing.”